I got dropped off at O'Hare on Sunday afternoon and had no problem with my carry-on and personal bag getting through security. This was my first time on IcelandAir, and it was cool to get a bottle of their special water as you got on the plane! They also had a blanket and pillow at every seat, along with their television on every seat.
We landed at Rekyjavik airport but had to take a shuttle bus to the terminal itself. In Iceland it was cold and cloudy, and didn't make the area very inviting! I purchased a sandwich (which ended up being delicious) as breakfast and then got right back on the exact same plane.
I watched Inception during this 2 1/2 hour trip, and that movie is required watching. It's brilliant on all accounts.
Before I knew it, we landed (rather roughly) in Heathrow airport! I was in the middle of the plane, so plenty of people got out before I did. The entrance check-in for non-EU and non-UK visitors was excruciatingly long. It wasn't because of the security - they had 30 checkpoints. It was just that there were so many of us!
We finally got through, I got some British pounds out of the ATM, purchased an Oyster card so I could go on the London Underground, and used it immediately to get from Heathrow to my "local" station. It was pretty easy to navigate!
I wandered around for a bit before finding my cute little street where my hotel was located. It was early, but I had given them a heads-up that I'd be there, and they had my insanely tiny room ready. I don't mind - I just needed a bed, bathroom of my own, and air conditioning, and I have all three!
It may have been the sheer exhaustion, but I cried a lot as I walked around Westminster Abbey. I'd seen it on television and computers for so long, and now I was there in person. I spent a lot of time around the organ and choir area. I got to see Queen Elizabeth I, Handel, Chamberlain, and a bunch of other kings, prime ministers, and poets' tombs, and it was utterly crazy to think that their bones were under my feet!
Best of all, as I walked around, the organist started to practice! He wasn't playing anything fancy, but I just stood there and listened.
I walked down to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. They're under construction, and I have a feeling they're adding some safety measures to that area, since that was where there was a car terrorist attack a little while ago.
I loved walking around Parliament Square and looking at all the statues and historical buildings. I walked down Whitehall and made it to Trafalgar Square, which was a sea of humanity that was glorious.
I didn't take any public transportation after I got to my hotel, but I'm certainly planning on doing that tomorrow - my feet are tired!
I am going to sleep like a log tonight!
Read about my second day in London HERE!